Press Coverage

News stories about my work, media interviews and comments.

Video & Podcast interviews

Humanitarian AI: Ritwick Gupta and Fernando Paolo discuss AI + HADR and xView3

Once a Scientist: JPL geophysicist, Fernando Paolo, on breaking stereotypes and the influence of strong women in his life

Carbon Brief: El Niño and the Antarctic ice shelves

Newsy Science: Antarctic Ice Is Melting Faster Than Ever

Scripps Oceanography: El Nino Impacts on Ice Shelves

Scripps Oceanography: Understanding and Protecting the Planet

Media coverage on papers

Eos: Shrinking Ice Sheets Lifted Global Sea Level 14 Millimeters

“With the unprecedented accuracy and precision of this novel measurement system, we are now able to detect the small signals far into the ice sheet interior, as well as map out the changes over narrow glaciers on high-slope terrain around the ice sheets,” said study coauthor Fernando S. Paolo of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “Previous altimeters struggled with these challenges. Because we used laser measurements over a fairly long time span (about 16 years), we are getting the overall trends of ice sheet mass loss with higher confidence.”

New York Times: A Satellite Lets Scientists See Antarctica’s Melting Like Never Before

NASA: NASA Space Laser Missions Map 16 Years of Ice Sheet Loss

BBC: Nasa space lasers track melting of Earth's ice sheets

CNN: Ocean warming is causing massive ice sheet loss in Greenland and Antarctica, NASA study shows

CNBC: A new way of measuring ice melt in Antarctica, Greenland sounds alarm about global sea level rise

ScienceNews: Greenland and Antarctica are gaining ice inland, but still losing it overall

NPR: Antarctica And Greenland Are Losing Thousands Of Gigatons of Ice - That's A Lot


IPCC Report: Cited multiple times on Chapters 3 and 4 in the United Nations's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

There is high confidence that the input of ice shelf meltwater has increased in the Amundsen and Bellingshausen Seas since the 1990s, but low confidence in trends in other sectors (Paolo et al., 2015).

Reduction or loss of ice shelf buttressing has dominated Antarctic Ice Sheet dynamic thinning (high confidence) ... ice shelf thinning increased in WAIS by 70% in the decade to 2012, averaged 8% thickness loss from 1994 to 2012 in the Amundsen Sea Embayment (Paolo et al., 2015).

Recent ENSO variability is correlated with recent changes in ice shelf thickness (Paolo et al., 2018).

They lose mass through a combination of calving and by melting from below, especially where basal ice is in contact with warm water (Paolo et al., 2015; others)

It has become increasingly evident that this ice loss is being driven by sub-ice oceanic melt (thinning) of ice shelves (Paolo et al., 2015; others)

IPCC Chapter 3: Polar Regions
IPCC Chapter 4: Sea Level Rise


BBC: Climate change: Study underpins key idea in Antarctic ice loss First evidence that Antarctica's thinning ice shelves are causing more ice to move from the land into the sea

Northumbria University: The impact of Antarctica's thinning ice shelves


BBC: El Nino's long reach to Antarctic ice

"That means for a short period of time you are adding the two together [gains from snowfall and loses from melting]. And that's key information to put into computer models if you want to properly represent the dynamics of these systems," explained Dr Paolo, who has now moved to the US space agency.

Scripps Oceanography: New Study Reveals Strong El Niño Events Cause Large Changes in Antarctic Ice Shelves

Carbon Brief: El Niño causes West Antarctica’s ice shelves to gain height yet lose mass

Newsweek: Antarctica is melting from below - and it's getting worse

Earther: Future El Niños Could Spell Trouble For the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

E&E News: More snow makes icy pole look bigger. But it's shrinking

EurekAlert: New study reveals strong El Niño events cause large changes in Antarctic ice shelves

DailyMail: El Niño is causing the Antarctic ice shelf to melt up to ten inches every year, according to 23-year Nasa study New study reveals strong El Nino events cause large changes in Antarctic ice shelves

EuropaPress: Fuertes eventos de El Niño alteran plataformas de hielo en la Antártida

Environmental Research Web: New study reveals strong El Niño events cause large changes in Antarctic ice shelves

International Business Times: Antarctic Ice Shelves Affected Greatly By Strong El Niño, Study Finds

FAPESP Research Magazine: El Niño e o derretimento silencioso da Antártida (El Niño and the silent melting of Antarctica)


Washington Post: This ice shelf is nearly the size of Scotland - and it could be at 'imminent risk'

The Guardian: Thinning Antarctic ice shelf could contribute to sea level rise, says study

British Antarctic Survey: New study shows Antarctic ice shelf is thinning from above and below

Climate Central: The ABCs of Antarctic Ice Shelf Melting

YAHOO News: Breakup fears for massive Antarctic ice shelf: study

Carbon Brief: Antarctic Larsen-C ice shelf at risk of collapse, study warns

EuroNews: Melting of Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctic may raise sea levels

LiveScience: Antarctica's Ice Attacked from Above and Below

CBS News: Antarctica is melting from above and below

Motherboard: A Massive Antarctic Ice Shelf Is Thinning From Two Sides and Now We Know Why

International Business Times: Antarctica: Largest ice shelf melting fast from above and below

BBC: Antarctic ice thinning from above and below

Mashable: Scientists find large Antarctic ice shelves closer to collapse than they thought

Scientific American: Massive Antarctic Ice Shelf Faces Imminent Risk of Collapse


Los Angeles Times: Antarctic ice shelves melting 70% faster, study shows

An acceleration in the flow of massive ice sheets would add substantially to the ongoing rise of sea levels, according to Fernando Paolo, a geophysics PhD candidate at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography and lead author of the study published online Thursday in the journal Science.

Science/AAAS: Antarctica is rapidly losing its edge

Wall Street Journal: Antarctic Ice Shelves Are Shrinking, Study Says

BBC: Antarctic ice shelf thinning speeds up

Reuters: Study shows acceleration in decline of Antarctic ice shelves

Climate Central: Antarctica's Icy 'Doorstops' Thin; Rising Seas At Risk

Washington Post: Antarctica's floating ice shelves, the doorstop of the continent, are melting away

The Guardian: Antarctic ice shelves are melting dramatically, study finds

Scripps Oceanography: Antarctic Ice Shelves Rapidly Thinning

Carbon Brief: Antarctic ice shelf thinning is accelerating, reveals new study

New Scientist: Major Antarctic ice survey reveals dramatic melting

Inside Climate News: Antarctica's Melting Edges Bad News for Sea Level Rise

The Verge: Antarctica's ice melt has been accelerating in the last two decades

Scientific American: Antarctica's Ice Shelves Thin, Threaten Significant Sea Level Rise

NPR: Big Shelves Of Antarctic Ice Melting Faster Than Scientists Thought

KQED: Big Shelves Of Antarctic Ice Melting Faster Than Scientists Thought

Mashable: West Antarctic ice losses have surged by 70% in the last decade

Christian Science Monitor: Antarctic ice shelf melt accelerating, study finds

Live Science: Antarctica's Ice Shelves Are Thinning Fast

Grist: Antarctica is basically liquefying

Weather Channel: Antarctic Ice Thinning Faster Than We Thought, New Research Shows

YAHOO News: Antarctic ice shelf loss 'quicker'

Radio NZ: Tim Naish: Antarctic ice shelves

Accu Weather: Antarctica's Ice Shelves Experiencing Accelerated Losses

TIME: The Antarctic's Floating Ice Shelves Are Melting At an Alarming Rate

Science Times: Antarctica's Ice Shelves Melting Faster Than Originally Thought

NBC: Antarctica Ice Shelves Melting at Faster Pace: Study

ST Gist: Antarctica Responding To Climate Change, New Study Revealed

Pioneer News: Antarctica ice shelves thinning rapidly due to record warmth

R&D World: Antarctic ice shelves rapidly thinning

Nature World News: Antarctic Ice Shelves Are Melting Faster Than Ever Before... Again

Climate News Network: Shrinking of ice shelves raises sea level concerns

International Business Times: Some of Antarctica's thinning floating ice shelves 'will be gone in 100 years'

E&E News: Scientists report rapid Antarctic melting, predict ice shelves could be gone 'within 100 years'

Science News: Antarctic ice shelves rapidly melting

La Presse: Antarctica: the thickness of the surrounding ice significantly reduced

Nature: Ice shelves shrink fast in Antarctica

CBS News: Antarctic ice shelf thinning "rapidly" in last decade

VICE: It Was Warmer in Antarctica Than in New York City Last Week - and That's Not Even the Bad News

Liberation: Climate: The Earth loses its freezer

San Diego Supercomputer Center SDSC Supercomputers Assist in Scripps' Thinning Antarctic Ice Study

FAPESP Research Magazine: Thinner and brittle

General audience articles

The Conversation: Short-term changes in Antarctica’s ice shelves are key to predicting their long-term fate

The Conversation: Shrinking of Antarctic ice shelves is accelerating

Veja Magazine: Why we need to talk about the gian Antarctic iceberg? (Portuguese)

Science Today: Antarctica: What could happen if the ice melts? (Portuguese)

External comments

RealClimate: Background on the role of natural climate variability in West Antarctic ice sheet change

Finally, Paolo et al. (2018) showed that the influence of El Niño events on West Antarctic glaciers could be measured by satellite observations: El Niño events tend to be correlated with both increased melting from below, and increased snowfall above, and the variations in the altitude of the ice sheet surface (varying by a few tens of cm) can be detected by satellite altimetry.

Eos: Warm Water Is Rapidly Eroding Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf

“Field observations of this kind are scarce and extremely valuable,” said Fernando Paolo, a polar scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., not involved in the research. “The study reaffirms the importance of looking at polynyas to better understand mass exchanges between the ice shelves and the ocean.”

Neewsweek: Sea Levels Are Surging at Faster and Faster Rates as Antarctica and Greenland Melt, Satellite Data Reveals

"We have known from observations that the ice sheets and mountain glaciers have been losing mass at an accelerated rate over the past decade or so," Fernando Paolo, postdoctoral scholar at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who was not involved with the study, told Newsweek. This study shows "a clear acceleration in the 25-year sea level rise, which can be linked to the accelerated ice loss."

ScienceNews: Wind may be driving the melting of East Antarctica’s largest glacier

“We have little data on the ocean and ice shelf conditions in this region,” says Fernando Paolo, a geophysicist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. But the 14-year record used in the study is still somewhat short to infer a definitive link between wind-driven upwelling and ice shelf melt, he says. Still, he adds, these new data are a welcome addition to the pool of sparse observations, supporting the idea that Totten Glacier is very sensitive to changing oceanic conditions, much like the fast-thinning glaciers in West Antarctica.